Friday, January 30, 2009

Baby Stuff We Love, Six Month Edition

1.  Evenflo Exersaucer.  This baby containment, entertainment, sanity-saving device was the best hundred bucks we spent all year.  Noah LOVES it.  I mean L-O-V-E-S it.  He'll happily play in it until I have decided I have given him enough "alone time" and when I take him out he reaches to go back.  That never ever happened with his swing or bouncy seat.  I think it has strengthened his leg muscles and really encouraged him to grasp and pull and push.  He adores gnawing on the toys and pressing the buttons for the music.  I know a lot of physical therapists don't agree with the exersaucer, and I think it has to do with the way the baby "sits" in it being hard on their hips if they're in there for hours, but I think it's a handy dandy way for me to get things done around the house while keeping him safe and entertained.  I mean, I won't leave him in there for HOURS so that's good, right?  

2. Baby Bjorn.  I know I spoke the merits of the mei tai earlier, and it has been wonderful for around the house and the warmer months, but the Bjorn has been fantastic for when we're in and out of the car on our errands.  It's a snap, literally, to put him in and I have the fleece cover so his legs and arms stay warm in this cold weather.  He loves riding in it at the grocery store and tends to stay calmer for longer.  I just put the harness on under my coat before we leave and the snap him in right out of the carseat.  Easy peasy.

3. Our foam puzzle playmat.  I have this in our family room in lieu of a blanket on the floor and it's great.  It's soft but not too soft that Noah can't scoot himself around and it cleans up easily with a little swiffer action.  You can make it as big or small as you want to fit your space.  

4. Flannel receiving blankets.  I have found these to be the perfect way to not have to change Noah's crib sheet everytime he drools too much or leaks through his diaper.  Since he's a tummy sleeper he tends to leave wet puddles wherever his head is and you just try to imagine how fun it is to change a sheet three-four times a day.  So I just tuck these over the top half of his crib mattress right over the sheet, and if he makes a mess, then all I have to do is switch out the blanket rather than the whole sheet.  The flannel in the blanket almost makes it "stick" to the sheet so I don't worry about him pulling it up or or getting tangled in it.  I didn't start this until he was about 5 months just in case he did get it pulled over his face he can grab and pull so he can move the blanket if that were to happen.  So far, so good.  

5.  Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat.  Holy crap, people, is this thing great.  I hemmed and hawed over what highchair we should get for Noah for MONTHS.  Do we go with a big highchair, padded, reclining seat with all the bells and whistles or do we get a classic wood chair that is adjustable and pulls up to the table?  Either way we would be spending a lot of money on something that would be mooching space in our kitchen.  Here is how I managed to use what I had and spent next to nothing.  When I started out with solids, I fed him in his bouncy chair since he wasn't quite ready to sit up.  When he could sit up better, I moved him to his Bumbo seat placed on the kitchen counter (ALWAYS with a hand on him, never alone, don't alert DCFS) with the tray.  Then I scoured the internet for reviews on every highchair imaginable.  I was pretty sure I wanted a wood, adjustable, pull up to the table chair, until I came across a site that had what seemed like very honest recommendations from other parents.  Consistently the FP Healthy Care Booster was mentioned as a permanent alternative to the big highchair, though the booster is really touted as a great travel highchair.  So instead of spending a couple hundred on a highchair, I decided to use the booster as my ONLY highchair.  My mom picked one up for us at Target, I strapped it to our kitchen chair, and voila!  Insta-highchair AND it tucks right under the table while still attached to the kitchen chair.  It takes no additional space and is at just the right height for Noah to pull up to the table or eat with the tray on.  And it's plastic so there are no crevices for slimy food and crumbs to get caught in.  I literally wipe it down after every meal and we're done.  No muss, no fuss. I heart you FP Healthy Care Booster Seat.  I want to make out with you.  Loves.

6.  First Years Take & Toss feeding bowls.  These are just SO EASY to heat up Noah's food in and they come with lids for traveling.  They are the perfect size and will last us a long time.  Contrary to the name, these are completely dishwasher safe (top rack only!) and reusable many times.  

7. Infantino Activity Stacker toy.  Baby toys seem to be a pretty personal-choice type thing.  Noah adores this stacker and especially the green rattle one.  He is slowly getting the hang of putting the stacker back together, but he really just loves waving his arms to make it rattle and roll.  This was by far the best toy we got him, but that's not to say your kid will love it.  I recently got him this toy which is adorable, but he hates it.  Maybe he'll grow into it, maybe not.  

I am positive there are more things we love, but for now these are the tops in our house!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What's in a name?

A few weeks ago we realized that Noah was not responding to his name but rather to Tim's nickname for him: Bubba. I would say his name, Noah, and nothing. No head turn, no acknowledgment, nada. But when one of us would say Bubba, he would look up and smile. Now, Bubba is an adorable nickname, or even a great name for a boat, say a shrimping boat down in Alabama with the surname Gump, but not a good name for our baby to go by. There would be no way to escape teasing once he hit first grade as a Bubba.

So the nickname was outlawed. And Noah would only be called Noah. At least until he figured out that was his actual name. It's taken some practice and many days, but I think we have finally got it all straightened out. Except he also now responds to punk...weird.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snot-nosed kid

Noah's sick again. This is why I HATE going to the pediatrician's office. He always comes back with a bad cold and then I get it and then Tim gets it and waaaaaaaaaahhhhh! Unless something interesting happens in the next few days, it will be quiet around here while we hunker down and fight off the invading germs.

There is going to be a lot less of this:

And a lot more of this:

See you on the flip side.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The littlest supporter

Such a good day to be an matter what size you are.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Six Months

Dear Noah,

I am just shocked, shocked!, that you're already six months old.  A whole half of a year has flown by us in a blur.   I am starting to forget small moments from your first few weeks and am grasping at all the memories that I have, trying to store them forever in the depths of my brain.  You're growing so fast that I can hardly keep up!  And I don't want to forget anything, not a single moment we have.  

This past month has been a whirlwind of milestones and laughter.  You've mastered rolling over, BOTH ways, and you're sitting up all by yourself!   You adore grabbing at your toes and trying as hard as you can to get them in your mouth.  Anything that's not nailed down is fair game when it comes to grabbing and putting in your mouth.  Your daddy even gave you a spare remote control (batteries removed of course) for you to slobber all over since you seemed intent on grabbing the one that does work and making it yours.  Our house is swimming in drool due to your teething...those two bottom teeth are sharp little suckers and when Mommy says not to bite, she means it.  

You love to pound your hands on the kitchen table and make as much noise as you can.  I know it's only a matter of time before you realize you're the one making the noise and then this house will no longer be quiet.  And I can't wait.  Watching you concentrate on a toy and try to figure out how to grasp it or throw it or push it over is amazing.  It's almost as if I can see your brain working and growing.  Your laughter is contagious and you adore Pop! Goes the Weasel and any game of peekaboo.   It's true what they say: I'll do anything to make you laugh, just so I can hear that laugh and savor it over and over.  

When you wake from your naps you roll over and grab your toes and I love to watch you wake up on the monitor.  Your coos and giggles alert me to come get rarely wake up crying.  And then the big smile I get when you see me, it's addictive.  This isn't all to say it's good times at our house all the time.  No, we definitely have our bad days but they're few and far between and your laughs can snap me out of any funk.  You especially dislike it when your daddy and I "discuss" things and tend to chime in with your own, very loud, opinion.  That sure brings on a case of the smiles all around and quickly makes us forget what we were "discussing".  

I want you to stay this small forever.  I want you to keep growing and discovering.  It's a battle everyday within myself.  I know you're going to keep growing and learning and I am so lucky that I get to be right there with you.  You amaze me everyday.  


Sunday, January 18, 2009

High as a kite

I honestly thought the hormonal roller coaster that started with pregnancy ENDED when the baby was born.  Surprise!  It so doesn't.  Apparently this whole breastfeeding thing keeps your hormones locked and loaded which would explain why I am STILL sobbing at the Sarah McLachlan save the animals ASPCA commercial.  You know the one, the sad puppy eyes staring at you through the cages, the little kitty faces all pathetically looking at the camera, her melancholy angel song running through the background.  Bah on you Sarah McLachlan, bah on you!  

Oh!  And let's not forget ANY television show that deals with a child being injured, ill, or, god forbid, DYING.  I'm looking at YOU Private Practice and Dr. Addison Montgomery (that is such a soap opera name, no?).  And it seems that late at night, I end up reading blogs and posts about parents who have lost a child or a child that has lost a parent and AHHHHHHH!  How I find these, and why only in the darkest hours of the day, I cannot explain.  That's when Tim has to hold me back from scooping up my sleeping baby and promising him I will keep him safe forever and ever, amen.  End result is waking the baby and causing myself more tears and it seems I have a problem with wanting to snuggle my child WHEN HE IS SLEEPING.  I hope he doesn't mind if I do that when he's a teenager.  

I hope I get better and soon.  This up and down, in and out is driving me insane.  Literally.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

No words

Sigh.  I just love him so much.

That is all.  Carry on.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Yesterday was our first attempt at making new mommy/baby friends.  Through a woman I met (by met I really mean emailed with once) through Meetup, we were invited to a small group outing to the local movie theater.  On Tuesdays, the first showing of any movie is reserved for moms/dads and their babies.  Pretty awesome, huh?  I was a little dubious about Noah's ability to sit through a 100 minute movie about warring brides (it was cute, but I'm glad I only paid the matinee price) but he did a really good job.  He held off the Need a Nap NOW meltdown until we hit the car afterwards and only started schreeching once.  Props to Noah.  And he tried to pull a bow out of the other baby's hair...starting the flirting early, eh buddy?

I met a few lovely ladies and their babies and even got invited to a playgroup next week with this same group.  I apparently was deemed semi-normal and not totally crazy.  Ha.  They have NO idea.  What really struck me while I was there is that I feel like I am a complete mess when it comes to being out of the house with Noah.  Let me explain.  When Noah and I are home, we're in our groove.  We have a loose schedule of when we play, when he plays alone (in his Exersaucer, and I am RIGHT NEXT TO HIM so don't worry, and please don't call DCFS), when he eats, when he naps, etc.  I feel like I am doing a pretty good job and have it together.  But when we leave the house...oh holy hell, everything falls apart.  If Tim and I take him somewhere, I feel ok, but if I am on my own I have a hard time.

It's not that Noah is tough to take anywhere.  He's pretty calm these days in his carseat or stroller and really only starts bleating and screeching if he needs something or is ready for a nap.  This problem lies solely with me.  My brain starts to fuh-reak out when we're out.  I don't know if its the sheer pressure of remembering to put the baby in the car along with any bags or its the potential for me to lose something, like my phone or my wallet while trying to make sure I have the baby.  On Monday, we went to Target, and it wasn't until I got home  and four hours had passed that I realized I had left the 35 lb tub of cat litter (and it was on SALE) in the cart in the PARKING LOT.  In my haste to get Noah in the car in the snow, get all the bags in the car, and get myself in the car, I forgot the cat litter.  Or so I thought.  I went back to the car yesterday and lo and behold, what did I find in the trunk?  The cat litter.  See?  My brain does NOT function well when Noah and I leave the house.

And this was after the last time I was at Target before Christmas and the stroller tipped over when I took Noah out to put him in the car, breaking one of the things I had bought that was hanging from the handle of the stroller and dumping my diaper bag and all it's contents on the ground.  Sigh.  It was raining that day.  Ok, so that brings me to yesterday.   I felt like the other mothers had this well-choreographed dance they did with their babies.  Putting the babies in the stroller with ease, no screaming, no twisted straps; getting their coats on without stuffing their arms into the armhole that the scarf was stuffed into and fighting against it; draping their diaper bags casually across their bodies without flinging a bottle or a tiny mitten across the theater only to spend ten minutes looking for it.  How do they do it?  And how come I can't?  I have never felt this incompetent in my life. 

I know that the other moms probably feel incompetent too, maybe not about this, but about SOMETHING.  I can't be the only one.  But this feeling is making it very hard to leave the house without a sense of impending doom.  It seems like every trip out of the house, at least in the car, is fraught with anxiety.  I am attributing a lot of it to the weather and my fear of driving in the snow with the baby.  I know I didn't feel this way when it was warm out and I could get around on foot.  It's weird to think I have regressed as Noah has gotten older.  You would think it would be the other way around.

Anyhow, this is all to say that I need to work on this issue of mine before it gets out of hand and we never leave the house again.  Recognizing the problem is a good first step, right?  And maybe, just maybe, those other moms feel incompetent about something I am actually good at.  I'll keep telling myself that until I feel better.  Anyone out there feel this way too?  Tell me.  

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cure for the crazy

From Wikipedia: "being in the doldrums" refers to being in a state of listlessness, despondency, inactivity, stagnation, or a slump.

I'm in the doldrums, are you?  I've had enough of this wintry, constant snowing nonsense.  Noah and I were in the house for FIVE STRAIGHT DAYS.  Please, let me introduce you to my new best friend, Crazy, and her assistant, Insanity.  Today I finally escaped to have brunch and a manicure/pedicure with a friend, and it was pure sweetness I tell you.  

To cure these doldrums, I decided to join a Meetup group for new moms in my area.  I've been toying with the idea of finding a new moms group since Noah was born and just haven't gotten around to finding something that was structured.  Being one of the first of my girlfriends to have a baby AND stay home all day has really whittled down my social calendar. Finding other moms and babies  that are home and available to keep us BOTH company seems like a good idea.    

I've signed Noah and I up for a reading/playtime group that meets on Tuesdays as well as a more local group of moms with little ones under 1 that meets on random Thursdays for lunch.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I meet some nice and NORMAL people.  I am willing to do anything to prevent another week-long house arrest this winter.  Anything.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I kind of really want to talk about Important Things right now such as The Great Economic Downturn of 2008-2009 and How It Affects My Family and How I Hate It, but that post would be such a pit of despair and fraught with Deep Emotion that I am making the executive decision to SHUT MY MOUTH.  And since I am the pretty queen of this tiny country in blogland, I can make those decisions with no backtalk from the bourgeoisie and proletariat.  This blog needs to be sunshine, rainbows and puppies all rolled into one because this is my happy place.  And this is what makes me happy:

One look of those eyes and I melt.  This little boy rules my world.  


Let me just say that this post was brought on by my spending too much time on Facebook.  There.  That’s my disclaimer.

I spend a lot of my day letting my thoughts wander while playing on the floor with Noah.  While he is learning how to grasp the toy with his whole hand and not just hook a finger around it, I am wondering “what if?”  Do you ever play the “what if?” game?  I have decided I much prefer Scrabble, or even Charades (shudder), to the “what if?” game.  The “what if?” game brings up some long forgotten, or maybe only shallowly buried, memories of past relationships, past friendships, many vague moments in time.  Among those are new thoughts, new “what ifs” for the unknown future.

What if I had never met Tim?

What if I hadn’t said goodbye to (insert ex here)?

What if I had moved to a new city in a new state rather than just playing it safe?

What if I hadn’t had a baby?

What if I had continued working?

What if we hadn’t bought this house?

What if I had tried harder to mend that friendship?

What if I had actually attempted that masters’ degree?

What if I had been more focused in college?

A long ago ex asked to be my Facebook friend.  I hesitated before responding, not because I harbor any ill will towards him, but because the request would open up my world to him, a person I had shut out of my life over 8 years ago.  It also brought back a flood of memories, and as I perused his photos (and he looks so happy and that really is wonderful) I began to remember that time of my life.  And not just the time spent with him, but the rest of those years and everything that took place then.  I have a hard time going back.  I have a difficult time thinking about the past, even when that past was good, as most of it was.  It causes me to question decisions I made to get where I am today.  Hence the “what if?” game.

I feel as though I have draped most of my past with rose colored silk…I don’t remember all the bad things I have done, or nasty things I have said to people (though they remember, I am sure), or good things I didn’t do when the opportunities presented themselves.  I don’t think I can handle remembering all the bad when I can barely work through remembering all the good.  Maybe that is my coping mechanism.

This is not at all to say that I want the possible answers to my “what ifs?”.  Those answers may not include Tim, my partner and best friend, or Noah, my heart that beats forever outside of my body, and any answer that does not include those two boys is an answer that I want no part of.  The choices I have made in the past have brought me to my present.  And this present really is everything I have ever wanted.  Yes, there are some things I would change (almost all relating to this god forsaken economic “SITUATION”), but these are also things that I cannot control.  What I can control is my participation in the “what if?” game.   I think I am fine with sitting on the sidelines from now on.

Yes, of course I accepted the friend request on Facebook.  It would have been rude of me not to and I want him to see my pictures and see how happy I am.  How blessed I am.  How lucky I am.  And for him to say “She looks so happy and that’s wonderful.”   

Ed. I feel as though I might have been slightly, um, hormonal, when I wrote this so you know...keep that in mind, don't take it too seriously, etc.

Monday, January 5, 2009 the flu NOT the baby

This mama has a touch of the flu so while I recuperate, I will leave you with pictures of the cutest baby ever.

Intently trying to figure out the baby version of an iPod.

He sits!  He just one day up and decided he could sit.  And now refuses to be on his back.  Super.

Oh and apparently I am not fast enough with the spoon so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

He can sit but he can't roll over from his back to his front.  Skipping milestones is the new thing.

Nom. Nom. Nom.  Oh excuse me, I just ate my baby.  Those cheeks!  Those ears!

A baby in his natural environment.

(I swear he doesn't sit in his exersaucer all day.  Really.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Much improved

Wow.  So this blog has turned into the all baby, all the time channel.  For some (ahem, MOM), this is perfectly acceptable as it gives them plenty of Noah sightings.  For others, I suppose this could be considered fact, I am slightly bored with myself.  And it's only the second day of the year!  I am not starting off on the right foot here.  Let me tell you how I made our house a happier place.

For a long while Tim has been working from home.  More specifically he has been working from a desk he put in our family room/kitchen space, also known as MY office.  At first, this arrangement was great.  He could spend time with Noah whenever he wanted, easy access to the fridge, me at his beck and call (HA!  SO FUNNY).  We both thought "Hmm, this is a BRILLIANT idea, why didn't we think of this before?"  Well.  Last week I think we just about killed each other after one too many afternoons of me pawning the baby off on him so I could get stuff done around the house.  For some reason, I was having a really hard time equating his being at his computer with working aka an invisible do not disturb sign hanging from his neck.  I mean, he was sitting RIGHT THERE DOING NOTHING AND JUST HOLD THE DAMN BABY FOR FIVE MINUTES SO I CAN PEE.  Oh my, that didn't go over so well.  Especially the doing nothing part.  Yikes.

So I moved him.  Back to the basement.  Lest you think I am a cold-hearted wench, the basement is finished and pretty cozy.  He is not working amongst dripping pipes and cracked concrete walls.  I cannot even tell you the difference in my attitude now.  Because he is downstairs, and when he works he is completely focused, Noah and I rarely see him before 5 pm.  I have my house back mostly to myself, and I can bang around as much as I want without disturbing him.  It seems that I have also stopped trying to do so much and now I find I take the time to just sit on the floor and roll around with Noah.  I'm not sure how these things are all connected but it seems that they are.  The first day after I kicked Tim back downstairs, I missed him.  The next day I was rejoicing.  Don't get me wrong, I adore my husband, I think he's the best thing in the world, but we were at the point where one of us was going to be getting the life insurance policy paid out soon ifyouknowwhatimean.

So things are cool again in our household.  Patience and kindness has been restored.  And I don't get questioned about the amount of time I spend reading blogs anymore.